Day 12

share and show love

I came on this journey hoping for something more. I don't know exactly what but I am on the road because I had a feeling that something greater Is to come. Maybe it's experience, maybe it's faith, maybe it's love, maybe it's something else. But I know what I feel and I feel something big. I could have stayed in a life where I was secretly miserable. That might have made some people happy. Maybe there was another way to do this. I don't know the answers or what is right. All I know is what I feel and that's what brought me here. I'm just a normal guy who wants to find what happiness is. 

     I woke up in a park in south Sacramento around 9:30 from the heat. I got up and packed my stuff. I went to Starbucks across the street to clean up in the bathroom. I now distinctively know the smell of the soap in Starbucks bathrooms. When I was done I emailed my cousin and left from there walking north. 
      I walked for 3 miles into the downtown area heading to another Starbucks. I was meeting a very close friend (basically a 2nd dad) there at around 1. I got to Starbucks and wrote in my journal a bit. A man sat next to me named Brian. We started talking and carried a good conversation for about 10 minutes before Johnny arrived. Brian grew up in the bay area and moved to Sacramento about 10 years ago. He graduated from Berkely and was I think in his mid thirties. He had become disabled about 5 years ago... 
      When Johnny arrived I was very exited to see him. He has been like a father to me at times and I always have looked up to him. I gotta say, knowing Johnny, I was a little nervous he might not like what I'm doing. Me and Johnny hugged and then sat down to talk. Indeed, Johnny didn't like that I have been in places or situations with potential danger. He's an x cop and know the streets much better than I do. He has seen how people can be monsters and bring harm for no good reasons. He had read the blog and enjoyed reading some of it but still didn't agree with my decision. He also didn't like how I make people worry. I understood where Johnny was coming from and his point were valid. Johnny then recited some bible versus that were connected to my life and broke them down for me also. He spoke his mind (something I have always respected about him) in his thoughts of this journey. The cool thing about Johnny is he wasn't arguing or telling me what to do. He just calmly shares his feelings then moves on. Right away after he shares the versus he listed a few tips in how to protect myself from other peoples harm. He told me wasp spray is like another form of pepper spray and has a good range to keep attackers ect. Away from me. Also that a walking stick is legal and can be used as a club if necessary. Johnny only had little time and in about an hour he had to be going. I told him thanks for visiting me and for sharing his honest thoughts. Even though some of it was hard to hear I respect the truth. I hugged him and said goodbye for now.
       After he left Brian looked at me and smirked. I laughed and said "tough love". He was right next to us and obviously heard us so we talked about it a little. He told me not to worry and that I can't please everyone. That is something hard for me because I dwell on being negatively criticized, mostly when it's a respected critic. Brian said it's hard for us to understand other generations sometimes and visa-versa. I just told him I have tried many times to please everyone but it always leaves me unhappy. I believe it's important to put your happiness first even if it's hard on others sometimes. And not just what makes you happy at the moment but more of the long run search for it. Brian and I talked about it for a while and it really made me feel much better. He gave me his contact information and offered me to stay at his house. He offered hospitality for me during my stay in Sacramento if I wanted or needed it. I got a picture with him and he left. Shortly after that I left walking north.
      As I was walking I was thinking about what me and Johnny talked about. I was just thinking that I really couldn't TRY and be happy anymore in a life where it just wasn't there. If I continued to try and force it eventually it would have just boiled up and I would crash. I have always had nice things and have had good opportunities but just never could appreciate hardly anything. I was a punk who took all my stuff for granted and I just couldn't live that way. I couldn't do it. I needed to find happiness inside and this is where I ended up. I didn't think about this much, I just did it feeling like it's where I needed to go. Life isn't worth it to me if it's not real and I can't enjoy things. 
       I was walking for about 4 miles and found myself on a frontage road along highway 99. I hadn't seen a person walking in a while and all there were around me was trees and weeds on the land. I came around a corner and noticed homeless people everywhere! There were two huge lines and a whole group of people sitting along the street on sleeping bags and stuff. I walked up and got in one of the lines. I talked to some of the guys in line and it was a mission where they feed the homeless. I was starving when I got there so I was exited to get some food. 
     As I stood in line for about 20 minutes I saw people selling meth and crack right behind me. There was one guy who looked like steve bushemi in mr deeds. BLOWN! I don't think he knew where he was. I got to the front of line and I was seriously literally the last guy to get a plate before the food was out. I got the scraped food but it was still all good.
     I ate the food and they started yelling out chapel call! Everyone gathered and entered into the chapel. I was right there so I followed. I went inside and attended the 7:30 church service. The service was ok, but what really blew me away was the singing. Every single person in there was singing the Hymes and I had never heard something that pretty sounding. Who woulda thought in a room half filled with cracked out tweaks. It gave me goose bumps and was pretty powerful. 
        As I came outside after the church I would head north to a park a few miles up. A big black man stopped me and said "there's a spot right here if you want it". There were about 50 people making beds along the sidewalk. These were the ones who didn't get a bed inside. I told him I was gonna walk on. He asked me where to and we started talking a while. His name was Moses. He was a local football star in sac in both high school and college. He ended up playing on the 49er practice squad a while and eventually became a trucker. This Dude was huge. 6"8 350 and yakked. He said he quit his job when he decided he needed some time to get himself right before going on. He has been on the streets 6 months completely sober and said he has come a long way. I was amazed to hear that. It was really cool to see a person give up everything to do that and I told him we are in it together. I asked him if he was happy and he said more than ever. I was seriously trippin. We talked about 3 hours when eventually I decided to make a bed there. I asked if I was safe there and he said you got my back I got yours. I felt like I was gonna be all good there next to Moses that night. It was pretty funny because his sleeping back went from his ankles to his chest. He reminded me of the green mile Dude. Really calm and nice, but huge. We talked til about 1am. He said it was cool to meet someone real and in this searching like he is. He told me he would travel with me if he didn't have a few things he had to do around this area. He also said he was tired of two bit crackheads always around him. It was cool to meet Moses. What a unique guy and good heart. Many people around there knew him and called him big mo. 
       Eventually I went to bed. I slept feeling pretty safe there surprisingly. There were bugs everywhere and they always woke me up during the night. And a lot of people walked through there all night. Some guy came real close and woke me up asking if I knew where to find the "cris". I told him I'm not on it and I don't know. He said what do you mean you aren't on it and laughed while he walked away. Another lady ran by in the middle of the night screaming for everyone to hide. She must have been pretty high. There were some other guys smoking crack a few sleeping bags down and were building something with cardboard all night. Weird stuff. All in all I rested pretty good. I got a picture of Moses in the morning still asleep.


jan said...

Nick, you will never be happy unless you do what is right for you! I have always thought that true happiness is when you own nothing and can still wake up happy! Keep following your heart....xoxo

Dan said...